- Were you looking for the giant trees known as World Trees?
- Were you looking for the great trees known as kypari trees?
The Great Trees are saplings of the World Tree and portals to the Emerald Dream. Great Trees can be found in Feralas, Ashenvale, The Hinterlands, Duskwood, and Crystalsong Forest. The Dragons of Nightmare once emerged from them, and druid players can use them to emerge from the Emerald Dreamway.
Ysera, the great Dreaming Dragon Aspect, rules over the enigmatic green dragonflight. Her domain is the fantastic, mystical realm of the Emerald Dream — and it is said that from there she guides the evolutionary path of the world itself. She is the protector of nature and imagination, and it is the charge of her flight to guard all of the Great Trees across the world, which only druids use to enter the Dream itself.
4,500 years before the First War, Fandral Staghelm took branches from Nordrassil, the World Tree, and planted them over saronite that had begun to appear across the world, including a particularly large source of saronite in the Grizzly Hills. Five of these became the Great Trees, and he named the World Tree he planted in the Grizzly Hills Andrassil, or "Crown of the Snow". Malfurion Stormrage and the rest of the Cenarion Circle became furious upon learning that these branches had been planted without their approval. They did, however, agree that the plan seemed to have worked. For several decades, Andrassil towered over Northrend, and all seemed well. Yet in time, circumstances changed. Bloody battles erupted between the taunka and the forest nymphs of Northrend, two races not known for their warring ways. The fighting was sudden and shockingly vicious, filled with barbarism and unspeakably vile acts. Word slowly reached the druids, and the Cenarion Circle launched an expedition to investigate the source of the violence.
What the druids found chilled them to their marrow. Andrassil's roots had reached so deep into the earth that they had touched Yogg-Saron's subterranean prison. The Old God had infused the tree with its foul energies, and thus all living creatures in the area were slowly being driven to madness. The Cenarion Circle knew that, without the blessing of the Dragon Aspects, Andrassil was vulnerable to corruption. They were also aware that there was no way to spare the World Tree or ease its suffering. The Cenarion Circle decided that the only recourse was to destroy Andrassil. It was renamed Vordrassil, or "Broken Crown."
Although killing Andrassil had been a heartbreaking task, the Cenarion Circle was pleased it had stopped the growth of saronite. Yet unbeknownst to the druids, something dark had taken root in the Emerald Dream. Yogg-Saron had used the trees planted by Fandral as a doorway into the Dream - a doorway through which the other Old Gods could grasp the ethereal domain and well. Small seeds of corruption were spread throughout Ysera's realm. In time, these seeds polluted the dreamways. This marked the beginning of what would become known as the Emerald Nightmare.
In recent times, Ysera's most trusted lieutenants (Lethon, Ysondre, Emeriss, and Taerar) have been warped by a dark new power within the Emerald Dream. Now these wayward sentinels have passed through the Great Trees into Azeroth, intending to spread madness and terror throughout the mortal kingdoms. Even the mightiest of adventurers would be well advised to give the dragons a wide berth, or suffer the consequences of their misguided wrath.
Great Tree locations
Worgen great trees
The large tree Tal'doren in Blackwald may be a type of Great Tree. It corresponds to Daral'nir in the Emerald Dream, which serves as a prison for the Druids of the Scythe. The tree has grown out of and through a night elf structure which can be seen sticking out of various sections of the tree.
- The Blossoming Ancients are said to be created from the ever-living branches of the Great Tree, though this might refer to a World Tree considering the definite article is used in: the Great Tree.
- The Azure Tower Defense scenario map, situated in Azure Glade, depicted a Great Tree known as the Great Tree of Life.
- Despite being a World Tree, Teldrassil was once referred to as the Great Tree.